back pain while driving

If you spend a lot of time in the car, you may have noticed that you get back pain while driving. Back pain can impact every aspect of your life, so we’ve found the best ways for you to reduce your back pain and increase comfort while driving.

31 million Americans are currently experiencing lower back pain. If you’re one of them, it’s important that you learn to protect your back while doing everyday activities while driving.

Ready? Let’s get started.

Reducing Back Pain While Driving

Whether you drive for long periods of time or you just pick up the kids from school each day, the goal is to maintain a healthy seated position. These techniques will help you reduce back pain while driving:

1. Check your Posture

When you’re slumping or hunching, your spine deviates from its natural S shape. Ideally, your whole back should be aligned against your seat. That means you may need to adjust your seat so you can easily reach the steering wheel and pedals without moving your back from your seat.

You should easily be able to see the road, and your knees and hips should be at the same level when your feet are on the car floor or the pedals. The goal is to keep your shoulders square and your spine straight.

2. Adjust your Steering Wheel

You may need to adjust your steering wheel and pull it towards you so you’re not stretching your arms forward and straining your neck.

You should try to hold the steering wheel at 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock since 10 and 2 usually put a lot of pressure on the arms and back.

3. Grab a Pillow

When you’re sitting in a slumped position, pressure is increased on your lumbar discs, which dehydrates them.

One of the best ways to solve this problem is to grab a feather pillow. If you’re driving for more than 2 hours, you should wrap that pillow around your back and use a belt to tie it in place. This allows you to relax against the pillow and car seat.

When using a pillow against your lower back, you’re helping your spine stay in a neutral position and reducing pressure on your discs. This will also reduce back pain and discomfort.

4. Stretch it out

If you’re the type who gets bored at red lights, now you can use them to your advantage.

Here are some stretches you can do while in the car:

  • Sit up straight, and move both hands to your right side. Gently twist your upper body around until you’re almost looking through your back window. Repeat on the left side.
  • Raise your arms to 90 degrees. Keep your back straight, and gently down to your right. Repeat on the left side.
  • Rotate your neck both clockwise and anti-clockwise. Keep the rest of your body straight, and then gently move your head towards each of your shoulders.

5. Take a break

Our backs were designed for movement. One of the reasons why so many people have back pain is because they’re not moving enough during the day.

Whenever you have a chance to pull over, get out of the car. Walk around it a few times, or find a safe spot where you can park and go for a quick walk. Do a few stretches to get your blood moving through your back, and you’ll notice less pain.

Are you dealing with back pain while driving and going about your day? You don’t need to suffer. Make an appointment with our chiropractors today, for a diagnosis and treatment plan. Take action and get back to living your life.

- Elite Spine and Health Center
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